BHCHP Blog: A View from the Bridge

Welcome to BHCHP's blog, A View from the Bridge! This is a place for us to share our work with you, our supporters, partners, neighbors and friends. Check back often for stories and updates from our patients, staff, volunteers, donors, supporters and partners, or subscribe via email below.

In 2017, BHCHP was happy to host over 50 health fairs for our 11,000+ patients, because we want to ensure that our medical and behavioral health care services reach as many individuals and families experiencing homelessness as possible.

Six years ago John arrived at our program, newly in recovery, and with a complicated mix of life-threatening medical problems and 27 severely decayed teeth. Today, thanks to his BHCHP caregivers, his chronic illnesses are expertly managed, he is receiving ongoing treatment for his depression and anxiety and he smiles easily thanks to Bessy and the rest of the BHCHP Dental Team.

We are thrilled to announce that our 13th Annual Sox for Socks weekend will take place at Fenway Park Friday, June 22nd - Sunday, June 24th, 2018. If you plan to attend a game that weekend, please consider bringing new, white socks to any gate at Fenway Park. Look for the Sox for Socks volunteers just inside the gate!

Heading into their third year, the Emerging Leaders Board is busier than ever! Made up of 21 young professionals who are committed to supporting BHCHP’s mission, the board participates in a variety of volunteer opportunities and fundraising activities.

We started HER Saturday because of a need in the community – to provide a safe, inviting space for women experiencing homelessness where they could consistently come to connect to care and build trusting relationships.

Last year, Medical Director Denise De Las Nueces, MD, spoke to federal public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta about BHCHP’s very successful response to last year’s outbreak of meningococcal disease, a potentially deadly bacterial infection among homeless shelter guests.

by Jessie M. Gaeta, MD; Melanie Racine, MPH.

These guidelines, developed by the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission and its needle exchange program, AHOPE, are intended to increase the preparedness of people in congregate housing and shelters to respond safely and effectively to opioid overdoses.

We are entering the height of the flu season, which means that cases of flu are on the rise. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. Here are some helpful tips to keep you healthy during flu season.

Transgender health care is considered an emerging field, but at BHCHP it has been part of our practice since 2008, when nurse Pam Klein launched a pilot program based on her experience working in transgender health in San Francisco. Among other services, we offer primary and urgent care, behavioral health, a support group, and hormone replacement therapy at our South End location, and we connect patients to Boston Medical Center (BMC) for medical/surgical services as needed. We also offer services at several of our other locations such as Pine Street Inn, Bridge over Troubled Waters, and the New England Center and Home for Veterans.

A new community outreach initiative spearheaded by The Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) seeks to better engage with individuals struggling with addiction and complex health conditions who are not well connected to health care services. CareZone, a mobile health van, is being funded by The Kraft Center for Community Health and brings together collaborators from GE Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) and the Boston Public Health Commission’s harm reduction and needle exchange site, AHOPE.